To mark its fiftieth anniversary, Allan Little tells the story of the tortured birth of the Treaty of Rome, the first step along the path to the modern European Union.
When the French Assembly threw out the idea of a European army in 1954, dreams of a new Europe seemed to have stalled. But a new plan emerged, driven by Belgian prime minister Paul-henri Spaak, for a common market, a free trading bloc with no economic barriers between participating nations. The European project was back on track.
The extraordinary story, full of riveting historical detail and anecdote, is told by the surviving participants, from the lawyers who constructed the Treaty to the typists who worked on the document.